Living here on the coast where the land and the sea merge gently in the sand and gravel of coves and beaches or abruptly when fields drop in red and yellow cliffs to the foaming lacy water below it is not hard to feel that we are close to another world, a world where lines are blurred by water and light, where far becomes near along the bend of the earth and our horizons are softer even on a bright day, turquoise and blue in a jumping broken embroidered line, blurring or disappearing altogether when the weather softens and the haar moves in.
The effect of a great open expanse of water and reflected light can be mystical but it must have been those whose feet were most firmly planted on one world that must have been the ones who invented the means to propel us from terra firma out onto the ocean in the first place:the boat.
Those first vessels which, in pushing off, not only went to bring food back to the table but whose charts and lines and courses began sewing the worlds together, the sea to the land and the land to the land, from the tiny offshore islands to the vast continents, we were all patched together by our ancestors need for food combined with the pull of the vast beckoning horizon that still speaks, after all that has been discovered, of the gaps between and worlds beyond what we know.
Even in the towns around here as we go about our business those boats that sit neatly covered in driveways and on the roads whisper of the magic of human engineering combined with the knowledge of another different place.
In psychology the sea is passion, the emotions, the unconscious, the untamable, something fearful and exciting, something which can overwhelm or which can carry us to far places and from which we can withdraw or engage as we are able.
And so what are boats, these constructions made of our history with which we set out to navigate the world?Our hearts?Our courage?
All this I think while walking here by fields above the sea where the sight of boats navigating brambled hedges is common and no matter how long they have been there in the mist or how many moons have risen above them they never appear stranded or abandoned, no, they are just dreaming across the worlds, the roll of the slopes and the ditches merely waves of another sort as they wait for our faltering courage and our scaredy-cat hearts to catch up and launch them again out onto the open sea. What now?Where to next?